Here’s How To Tell If Your Drink Has Been Spiked

Make sure you know what to do if you’ve been spiked and how to tell if you have been.

With the start of freshers’ paired with the return of clubs after what feels like forever due to the pandemic, we can bet you’re probably going to be making the most of it and going out as much as you possibly can.

However, unfortunately, with the return of clubs, this also comes with the return of spiking. According to The BBC, there were 2,650 reports of drink spiking in clubs between the years 2015-2019 and three-quarters of these victims were women.

What is drink spiking?


Drink spiking involves using date rape drugs to make a person more vulnerable. Date rape drugs can be added to your drinks while you’re out in a bar or club, without your knowledge with the intention of making you drunker and more unaware of your surroundings quicker, with the intentions of sexual assault or theft or a variety of other reasons.

Date rape drugs can include Rohypnol (commonly known as a Roofie) or Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) which are the most commonly known date rape drugs. According to the NHS, alcohol is also a common way to spike drinks as adding extra shots to drinks can make a person drunker quicker and past their limits.

How do you know if a drink has been spiked?


Some symptoms of having your drink spiked include:

  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Loss of balance
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Visual problems
  • Unconsciousness

A lot of these symptoms can also occur due to heavy drinking, but if someone is acting way drunker than usual after not consuming that much alcohol there’s a high chance that they could’ve been spiked. The severity of the symptoms can depend on your height and weight and how much alcohol you’ve already consumed.

How can you help a friend who has been spiked?


If you suspect a friend has been spiked you should stay with them and not leave them alone or unattended. You should try and find a bouncer or member of security, or talk to someone behind the bar to alert them that you suspect they’ve been spiked.

It’s best to try and get your friend home and safe, stop them from drinking any more alcohol, and to keep talking to them to keep them conscious. If their condition seriously deteriorates, call an ambulance and tell them you suspect that they’ve been spiked.

If you’re on a night out try not to get separated from your friends and have a group chat so you can find them easily if someone gets lost, sticking together means that if someone is spiked you’ll be able to help them quickly and get them home safely and reduce any potential harm.

How can you reduce the risk of being spiked?


Of course, being spiked is not your fault and it shouldn’t be down to the victims to prevent spiking, but there are a few things you can do to help make sure you’re staying safe while you’re enjoying your night out.

Firstly, always keep an eye on your drinks, try not to put them down anywhere and don’t share other people’s drinks, or finish someone else’s drink if they offer it to you. If someone offers to buy you a drink, always make sure you’ve watched them buy it from the bar, and try not to accept a drink from someone if you haven’t seen where it came from.

Some clubs will even offer testing kits and stoppers you can add to bottles to seal them when you’re not drinking from them.

Remember that spiking someone is a serious crime and can carry a maximum prison sentence of 10 years, so if you or a friend are spiked make sure to report the incident if you can.

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